Haryana home minister Anil Vij claims ‘secret agenda’ behind farmers protest, amid tussle over further talks
With the protesting farmers leaders sticking to their demand of a complete repeal of the three farm laws, Haryana’s home minister Anil Vij on Thursday expressed suspicions about a “secret agenda” behind the farmers’ opposition to the three legislations.
The minister also alleged that while the farmers have opposed the laws, they were not able to support their objections with any “sound logic” during their many rounds of talks with the government. He also highlighted that the Centre never denied further discussions regarding the three contentious laws with the protesting farmer groups and unions.
“[Narendra Singh] Tomar Ji has clearly said the doors for talks are open. The government never closed its doors. There have already been 11-12 rounds of talks earlier,” news agency PTI quoted Anil Vij as saying on Thursday. “But farmers' union leaders have not even once been able to point out what their objections to the farm laws are,” he further said, while speaking to reporters.
"They have not been able to point out the objections. From this, it appears that their agenda is not (repeal of) farm laws, but (they have) some secret agenda," Vij said.
Anil Vij’s comments came a day after Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the Union government is ready to resume talks with the protesting unions and hear their objections. “Whenever farmers want discussions, the government of India will be ready for discussion. But we have repeatedly asked them to tell the objections in the provisions with logic. We will listen and find a solution,” PTI quoted Tomar as saying at a cabinet briefing.
However, farmer leaders have maintained their stance regarding the issue and have categorically said that they are ready for further talks only if the government yields to their demands. “Our stand remains the same. Repeal the three laws, give us a written guarantee on MSP, if the government is ready to talk on this, then we are ready. Now, it is up to the government to decide about the meeting,” PTI quoted farmer leader Shiv Kumar Kakka as saying.
“While the prime minister superciliously says that the government is just one call away, the real anti-farmer attitude of the government is very apparent. Protesting farmers repeat and reiterate that the government's attitude is unjustifiable and unreasonable, and is resting on ego and optics' games. Farmers demand a full repeal of the three central laws and a new legislation to guarantee MSP for all farmers,” the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, another protesting farmer body, said regarding the meetings.
Many farmers have been protesting against the government’s three new farm laws for over six months at Delhi’s borders. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of India has set up a committee to find solutions regarding the issue and has also put a hold on the implementation of the laws until further orders.